Trump Administration asks for more time to think about the federal overtime ruling

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Will the Department of Labor’s overtime rule, which required businesses to pay certain employees making less than $47,446 a year for overtime incurred, actually happen?

It was supposed to go into effect last December. Many businesses didn’t like it, fearing that forcing them to pay increased wages would squeeze profits and ultimately cost jobs. A Nevada judge found in favor of business groups that sued to stop the law saying that the Department of Labor “exceeded its authority by focusing on workers’ salaries to determine whether they’re eligible for overtime pay.” The Obama administration appealed. And there we stand. Now, the Trump administration wants even more time to think things over.

According to this report on Bloomberg BNA, Department of Justice lawyers this week asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for a 30-day extension on the deadline to file a brief in the overtime case because the administration needs more time to consider what to do about the ruling.

“We’re concerned that they’re asking for more time because they’re considering reversing their strong support for this important worker protection,” Adina Rosenbaum, a lawyer for Public Citizen Litigation Group, told Bloomberg BNA.

She’s probably right. It doesn’t look great for those that support the rule.

Besides many business groups, Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder is also not a fan. Some Republicans are in favor of a smaller change and some companies have already adjusted their employee pay in anticipation of the rule taking effect. Given the pro-business, anti-regulatory environment in Washington now I’m betting that the government will drop its appeal. But that’s just my opinion. Most business owners I know making plans for either outcome.

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